Journal Article

The Legality and Ethics of Independent Intercountry Adoption Under the Hague Convention

Peter Hayes

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 25, issue 3, pages 288-317
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebr016
The Legality and Ethics of Independent Intercountry Adoption Under the Hague Convention

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The Permanent Bureau at the Hague Conference shares an organizational and social democratic approach to problem solving for children in need with several child welfare organizations. In accordance with this perspective, the Permanent Bureau has allied itself to the call for the elimination of independent intercountry adoption (ICA) under the 1993 Hague Convention, on both legal and ethical grounds. Independent ICA embodies individual decision making and a liberal approach to problem solving. This has created ideological friction, and it is this friction rather than evidence that explains the campaign against it. The text of the Hague Convention permits independent adoption. Even though opposition to independent adoption was heightened by the crisis in Romania during the negotiations that preceded the Convention, the final draft allowed for it, partly to encourage ratification by the USA. The attempt to treat this compromise as a temporary expedient that can be dispensed with now that the USA has implemented the Convention is not in the best interests of the countless children in need of adoption.

Journal Article.  12881 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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